Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. —Hebrews 12:1-2
A few weeks ago, as I was walking with a friend, I saw some large blocks of stone.
I decided to take a picture of these incredibly heavy rocks.
So many times over the past weeks when I’ve picked up the New Testament that I keep in my bedroom, I’ve opened to the passage above that mentions weight.
The last time I read it, something seemed different.
I began to think about my life and the weights I had taken upon myself to carry.
Many of those weights were extremely heavy.
Focusing on those weights kept my focus off of the race.
The race Jesus wanted me to be running.
A lot of those weights had specific names on them.
I wanted to be accepted by others, so my thoughts could easily camp out on how to make that happen.
If I felt rejected, I could spend hours thinking of why it happened and what I could do so that it would never happen again.
I longed for companionship, so a lot of time was devoted to trying to be someone that was worthy of it.
Loneliness would visit me along the racetrack as I sat with my weights or trudged along trying to carry them.
Fear kept me a step behind courage, many times.
Second guessing my decisions, emotions, and self-esteem was a regular pattern.
I’m different now.
The weights are becoming more visible to me as I recognize the hindrances that I have previously allowed to consume my attention.
Jesus is helping me to identify unnecessary weights as they present themselves in my mind.
If I am to be free to follow Him, I must daily set aside any temptations to pick up anything that would become heavy, stalling my progress.
All of those things—like rejection, fear and doubt—Jesus can replace with acceptance, peace and assurance.
There is a path set before me.
I need to lay aside every weight.
Click image to enlarge.